The government of Hong Kong will officially end the quarantine requirement for international travelers after two and a half years of some of the world’s strictest pandemic-related restrictions in a new measure that will become effective on Monday, September 26.
According to CNN, travelers to the region will need to commit to self-monitoring themselves for three days upon arrival instead of the quarantine period. The self-monitoring does require travelers to forgo entering places such as restaurants or bars, but unlike under a quarantine regimen, they are free to walk around.
The city had eased its quarantine requirement earlier this year, in August, but travelers were still required to quarantine at a hotel for three days prior to a medical surveillance period of four days.
Those arriving in Hong Kong no longer need to present a negative PCR test prior to boarding their plane; instead, they need to present a negative rapid antigen test twenty-four house prior to boarding.
During their self-monitoring time, they will receive an amber color within the city’s digital health code, which they are required to present upon entry to businesses. They are also required to take PCR tests on days 2, 4 and 6 after arrival, and take a rapid antigen test every day for the first week after arrival.
The city has been following a zero-tolerance policy for COVID-19 infections, seen as some of the strictest by outsiders. It only began allowing non-Hong Kong residents of China into the city in May. With a once booming tourism economy, officials, business leaders and other governments of the Asia-Pacific region have pressured Hong Kong to reopen.
The city’s Chief Executive, John Lee, said the stabilization of COVID-19 infections are the main reason for the new rules in a press conference on Friday. “We hope to give the maximum room to reconnect Hong Kong, and to revitalize our economy,” he said.
The news comes just about a month and a half before two large international events are expected to be held in the city this coming November: the Hong Kong Sevens rugby tournament and a global banking conference.
To view the current entry rules and restrictions for travel to Hong Kong or other parts of the world, check out our interactive COVID-19 map:
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